Education Talking Points | 06/01/2017

education-talkingIn today’s talking points: The cost of tech-focused education proving substantial to Chinese parents; Greater equal access to education; Education Australia’s third largest overall export; International students make a real contribution to Sydney’s prosperity.

The cost of tech-focused education proving substantial to Chinese parents

Parents are spending anywhere between $3000 a year for tuition, $350 for a Lego robotics set and $7300 to test their children’s newly acquired engineering skills at international competitions. STEM education is becoming increasingly popular in China with around 10 million students being ushered into this new form of education. STEM education is a problem-based approach to learning that combines knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By 2020, it is predicted that some 50 million students will partake in STEM. Zhuo Yu, a parent with a 10 year old son, stated that ‘I don’t have a cap on my budget. Yes I’m investing a lot in his robotics education right now, but you have to take a long-term perspective and look at what opportunities it can bring him after he turns 18.’

Read more at: The China Post

Greater equal access to education

In the next 5 years, the central government will focus on promoting equal access to education, educational reforms and encouraging private investment to enter the field in the next five years.

The guideline was approved under the 13th Five-Year Plan. The nation will continue to prioritise education with more resources going to less-developed central and western regions as well as poverty-stricken border areas.

Yang Shangen, deputy principle of Huangwei Middle School in Anqing city of East China’s Anhui province said students in rural areas will benefit from the guideline. He stated ‘About 10 years ago, many young teachers left the school to join better-paid ones. At that time my salary was only half of what it is this year.’ The school now has projectors and computers.

Premier Li Keqiang declared ‘fair access to education is fundamental to social fairness and kids in every family should be granted better opportunities for higher-quality education’.

Read more at: ECNS

Education Australia’s third largest overall export

In Australian higher education of the 110, 543 international students that are currently enrolled, Chinese students make up 37.3 per cent. This makes Chinese students the largest population of international students calling Australia home during study. Australia universities have a great desire to improve their global ranking which may prove to be their downfall, with warnings being issued on an over-reliance on revenue from international students. Other issues that are coming from the ever-increasing influx is the isolation and animosity faced by the students, with educators saying they feel pressured the pass international students, even when they do not achieve the requisite English skills for the course. Universities must learn to balance their desire to increase Chinese student numbers and to maintain quality academic standard in order to continue the high export levels.

Read more at: East Asia Forum

International Students make a real contribution to Sydney’s prosperity

Sydney is trying to make the most of its title as the city with the largest enrolment of international students in Australia, noticing the potential its vast foreign student community has to promote the city around the world. With over 50,000 enrolments in university’s alone, and Chinese students making up the largest percentage, 9 out of 10 say they would recommend the city to friends and family back home, even with the high cost of living and public transport. Despite the desirable and safe location that is portrayed of Sydney, many international students still find issues with cultural barriers both in and outside the classroom, but believe that it is “changing a lot” for the next generation.

Read more at: The Sydney Morning Herald